Women Do Not Exist Purely for the Pleasure of Men

Davies, Madeleine. “This Revolting Promise Ring Might Be the Worst Pinterest Pin Ever.” Jezebel. N.p., 20 Dec. 2013. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.

I saw this on Jezebel the other day and I just had to say something. There was a documentary I once heard about called How to Lose your Virginity. It was all about how purity and virginity is defined in America. One comment from a specialist sticks out to me. The person noted that a woman’s sexuality has, throughout history, never been her own. Her body is the property of a masculine god, of her father and, eventually, of her husband. Never for her own enjoyment or use, her sexuality is controlled by men.

We see that in the comment on this pin. The 16-year-old’s sexuality is not her own, but the property of her father. The ring reminds her that her body is not her own.

I see this manifest in many other ways. A man may incessantly hit on a girl until she resorts to saying she has a boyfriend (regardless of whether she does or not). Most men will stop at that point because they don’t want to steal another man’s girl. They stop out of respect for the man.

In another example, I recently read a story about a man who is raising his son to see women as people (instead of objects). For the most part, he does a very good job of this. At one point in the article, he mentions flyers passed around his office for a restaurant famous for scantily clad girls. He added the phrases (aka someone’s daughter) next to all the models on the flyer. While his intentions are good, don’t the women deserve respect for being people. Must men be reminded that she has a father for them to keep their hands and comments to themselves?

As a society, we typically tell young women to keep their legs crossed and, at the same time, tell young men to go get ’em. What kind of world do we expect to create out of those messages? Is it any surprise that a woman may be uncomfortable with her sexuality or that a man may misinterpret a mini skirt as an invitation?

I recently saw this on Twitter and it scares the shit out of me. Are we even trying to teach our children about sexuality? You know what, don’t answer that. There are plenty of states that focus on abstinence only education. This is how we end up with 0.8% of women (in one study) claiming to have had virgin births. How are teenagers supposed to know what is and isn’t sex if no one teaches them. Moreover, how do we expect them to know the difference between sex and rape?

Those differences are common sense for most adults, but would a 14-year-old or a 16-year-old know the difference? If we don’t tell them those above actions are not okay, how are they supposed to know?

Along with sex education that explains how to protect yourself from STIs, I think there should be education other sexual acts. For example, teenagers should give definitions of what it means to be a virgin. This may sound odd, but I have friends who thought if they just did oral, they were still virgins. Hell, I was one of those teenagers. I assumed a person was a virgin so long as there was no vaginal penetration with a penis. What about the physical and emotional issues surrounding other sexual acts? There wasn’t an adult around (who anyone felt comfortable talking to) who was there to give us a yes or no answer when it comes to virginity.

Moreover, shouldn’t teenagers understand what constitutes sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and molestation? Obviously, these issues should be dealt with delicately. I don’t have the curriculum planned out and I’m sure there will need to be precautionary measures in case a student who has experienced an assault in the past is at risk of being triggered.

I think about these things because I have a brother who just graduated high school last Spring. Does he know what is and isn’t rape? Does he know that if a woman is intoxicated or wearing revealing clothing that she is not asking for it? What has he learned in his short time span? Did someone teach him those things, or is he just guessing? These questions worry me because I love my brother.

I’m not trying to take the blame away from the perpetrator of sexual assaults. Instead, I’m saying that young men and women should know what it means to assault and be assaulted. They need to know so they don’t unintentionally become perpetrators, so they can protect themselves and so they can look out for their friends.


15 thoughts on “Women Do Not Exist Purely for the Pleasure of Men”

  1. You would think certain things would be a given, and it’s sad that they aren’t. For example, a woman says “no” and you continue, then it is rape. But there is one thing in particular you discussed that has an annoying gray area: sexual harassment.

    Quick example of what I mean: two coworkers of mine were having a conversation. The woman ask the man to help her out with a task and he says (jokingly), “No problem, babe.” Another woman overhears that and decides to go to management. Next thing you know, he has a strike against him! I mean, I believe in third party harassment. If someone says a racist joke that doesn’t offend their conversation partner but DOES offend a listener, then they should get in trouble for it. But the whole “babe” thing? Come on…it’s true that some people DO need to lighten up.

    At any rate, I know that wasn’t the main thrust of the article, but you made me think of a situation that irked me so I decided to vent LOL.

    1. I agree that there is grey area, but I think it’s caused bay a lack of education. That isn’t to say that anyone in the above conversation is less than intellect. Instead, I don’t think we, as a society, have clearly drawn the lines. We tend to learn what is and isn’t harassment through trial and error. If we could come to a black and white conclusion of what is and isn’t harassment, I think we’d all be better off.

    2. It is popular in liberal states they even do third party “domestic violence” arrests now. My friend and her husband were having a mild argument but because they are both New Yorkers, they get loud. They had just moved in to a quiet(esque) neighborhood in a hyper-leftist state. Some oversensitive do-gooder walking down the street heard them arguing and called the police.

      Well, it is a mandatory arrest state, so the husband was arrested and imprisoned before being charged and smacked with a year long restraining order (despite being the sole breadwinner of the household) AND DESPITE HIS WIFE SAYING the argument was normal and that she was at NO TIME afraid or felt abused. These days the STATE decides for women what they think so they disregarded her testimony and charged him domestic violence anyways (for raising his voice).

      His wife was also bullied by social services because they were disappointed that she had no kids to take, and when she asked how she was supposed to pay rent and survive while the husband isn’t allowed home they just shrugged because you can’t go to a shelter unless you have kids.

      Think about this the next time you hear about the “domestic violence” epidemic. My friends are still together and weathered the storm, but seeing how it played out makes me realize DV is the new drug war where they care more about getting to a conviction than getting to the truth. I hate MRAs but they aren’t wrong about DV being a for-profit, child stealing, money making industry.

  2. Agh, I don’t have time to properly comment on this. Lots and lots of thoughts scurrying about up in my brain, but I agree– so so so much more needs to be explained to both young men and women about what constitutes sex and rape. Girls are NOT taught about this… I have 6 nieces, the oldest is 11 and I will be having these conversations with them. There’s so much I wish someone had explained to me when I was that age…
    Great thoughts, TK.

    1. It really is terrifying. I read a story on another blog about a 17-year-old girl whose boyfriend would often force her head down and hold it there even if she cried. She let this behavior continue because she thought that was normal. She thought that’s how it was supposed to be. Someone needed to be there for her before she got anywhere near that situation and explain was is and isn’t abuse. No one should ever think that kind of action is acceptable.

  3. I love the way you said that it needs to be taught to children about what is right and wrong in regards to attentions, etc.

    But I somehow don’t think that it’s a school’s job to do that. They are there to educate children in sciences, maths, history, english… Sex ed to me falls under sciences, biology. The fun stuff.

    Moral and ethical lessons should be taught at home. By parents. I know, shock horror. Imagine a parent actually taking responsibility for their child and teaching them these things. If we can teach our children to not run around naked and other societal obligations, then we can teach them the meanings behind actions and their behaviours too.

    1. I’d go with that if I could trust parents to do that. Unfortunately, I trust more parents in the US would just ignore the whole issues of sex. The idea that we’ve gotten by for years without having to teach children about sex is prevalent. No one understands that we now have laws against rape and molestation. We now have ways to prevent STIs. Parents might not know all there is to know about those subjects. Someone, somewhere has to provide the information to the children.

      And I’m sorry, but I don’t care if a parents is morally against their child learning how to have safe sex. To me, preventing a child from proper sex education is the same as depriving them of any other form of education. You’re going to learn regardless of you completely unscientific beliefs about sex. (at least, that’s how it would be if the world were run by me)

      1. Well, at the end of the day it’s not up to us to trust parents. It’s their job. I honestly believe there should be a parenting test before you’re allowed to reproduce. Because it seems only idiots are having children these days.

        It’s not the issue of sex that I’m referring to 🙂

        Sex Ed in schools covers biological facts, the issues surrounding having sex, like pregnancy, STI’s, etc. If children can learn about the biology and reproduction of plant and animals, they can learn about the same with humans. I believe that this is already covered in schools, so is a mute point. Should parents be the first one to discuss this with their kids? Hell yes, do they? well no. Because most parents are closeted and want to believe that their children will never have sex.

        What more I was referring to a parents job is teaching their children the difference in yes and no. Teaching them how to behave, how to react, how to respect other people and their right to say no to sexual advances. That they should respect another person enough that being drunk doesn’t equate to consent.

        I believe lumping teachers with the task of teaching children behaviours is outside their job scope. They have to deal with enough issues teaching children as it is. It’s easy for society to then lump them with the task of teaching behaviours as well, which I think is a total cop out. Teachers are paid to educate children. Not adopt them and be expected to teach them basic manners and protocols 101. If a parent can teach their child how to eat with utensils, they can teach their child how to behave in public, how to interact with others and to respect people.

        That was the point I was making =) Not sure I conveyed it well enough in original post!

        1. That makes sense to me. Teachers do so much (for little pay) as it is. I guess I’m not saying a teacher should dictate what is right and wrong. That’s not really where I was going. Instead, I think words should be given a definition. We tech children what an STI is and how to prevent it. We should be able to teach the definition of rape and abuse. Then there can be no “mistakes.”

          And I’m not saying people accidentally rape. It’s obviously a horrid behavior. But these kids here songs and watch movies where people use alcohol to get sex. I could see some younger teenagers being confused. A person should know the definition of rape and sexual assault so they can avoid the action (if they intend to) and, more importantly, so they know when it happens to them.

          I guess my main point in that subject is that a person should know whether or not they’ve been raped or assulted. There should be no question.

  4. ** that 3rd paragraph was mean to have /sarcasm after believing that their children will never have sex comment… wordpress was helpful and deleted it.

  5. it’s always seemed to me that one of the main reasons cultures throughout history condemned women for having sex outside of marriage is because of what you’ve pointed out; they viewed women as the property of men/ i.e. women exist for men’s pleasure…….its also been a common thought throughout the world that its only men who get pleasure from sex…and that women are only obsessed with emotional intimacy…but as any healthy women knows; they enjoy sex just as much as anyone else. And while, sure maybe, women have a tendency to want emotional intimacy a little more than men….yet this doesn’t in any way diminish their enjoyment of sex. Thus…all that being said I really believe society needs to move away from condemning women who have sex before/outside of marriage because this in many ways feeds the idea that women are the property of men.

    1. I agree. A woman’s sexual freedom receives similar treatment to other issues people connect to feminism. People think feminists want all women to be business women and look down upon stay-at-home wives/moms. In reality, it’s about having a choice – not what that choice is.

      In the same way, people would condemn any movement towards sexual freedom for women because they equate it to the promotion of sex outside of marriage. In the same way, it’s not about telling women to do as much as telling women they are good and equal human beings regardless of their choice.

      I understand why society existed the way it did. I’ve seen shows about royalty where the men were allowed to have mistresses but women had to remain chaste. They needed to know the father of any children a woman had to be sure heir to the throne was actually born by a royal man. It’s still all about men, but I get it. Lucky us, we have technology that can tell us who the father is even if the woman has slept with dozens of men.

    1. What does that mean? That they’ve surrendered to the school system and expect them to tell their kids or that they’ve surrendered the idea there is any way to properly teach kids sex ed?

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